It would be impossible (and painful) to count the number of times President Obama has accused Republican officials of trying to “deny 30 million people healthcare”.
Any criticism or highlighted flaw in Obamacare is deflected by the Administration as a terrible ploy on the part of the Republican Party to deny poor people access to care, to make the sick sicker or to add extra burdens to families already struggling to take care of disabled loved ones.
Are the American people convinced by the Administration’s tactics? It’s hard to say. While poll numbers show the majority of Americans don’t like Obamacare, the Republicans have not received overwhelming support to delay or defund the bill either. However, there is an interesting group of anti-Obamacare activists growing, and they’re not just coming from the far-right.
The newest wave of critics are the people President Obama vowed Obamacare would save: the sick, the disabled and the poor. Here are their stories:
How the Sick are Affected by Obamacare:
Pattie is a catholic, stay at home mom; her two youngest sons suffer from a rare chronic illness and require constant medical attention as home, as well as frequent visits to the doctor and surgical procedures. Pattie described her medical costs as difficult, but reasonable, until 2010.
President Obama promised premium fees would decrease $2,500 under Obamacare, yet for Pattie and her sons, all of their medical costs—from premiums to co-pays to the new medical device tax—have skyrocketed to unimaginable levels.
Here is Pattie's account of how the implementation of Obamacare has affected her family and finances:
Between 2005 and 2010, our deductible increased $50. Since the passage of Obamacare, it has increased $1,200.
In 2009 and 2010, our premiums stayed the same. Since the passage of Obamacare, our premiums have increased $1,528/yr.
Our out of pocket maximum increased a total of $500 between 2005-2010. Since Obamacare passed, our out of pocket maximum has increased $3,000.
A medication protecting my son's kidneys from damage had a co-pay of $131 from 2005-2010. Since Obamacare passed, that co-pay skyrocketed to $532.
In 2005-2010, we paid 4-5K per year in prescription co-pays. Now, in 2013, we are on target to pay $10,000 in prescription co-pays for the same medications. As of August 12, 2013, we have already paid $5,775.42 for prescriptions this year.
How the Disabled are Affected by Obamacare:
Frank K. is a father of two; one of his children lives with Autism. Frank, like many parents whose children have Autism, relied on non-taxed Flex Spending Accounts to pay for the medical of his child. Until 2010, families could put as much money as their employer would allow into their FSA’s to pay for their families medical expenses.
Many parents with disabled children use these accounts to pay for otherwise unaffordable schooling and therapy for their children. However, a new provision of Obamacare has capped all FSA’s $2,500, in efforts to make up to $13 billion more taxable.
Here is how the FSA provision has affected Frank and his family:
“As a father of two kids who have chronic on-going issues (one with GI issues and one with Autism), and a wife who is unable to work due to back problems, we have a LOT of medical bills every year. So being able to use a $5,000 FSA account every year was a win for us.
We don’t really have a choice to treat or not treat our children.
So when the FSA limit went down to $2500 thanks to ACA (Affordable Care Act) we lost quite a chunk of money. As a result of this, and since ObamaCare never put in any support for kids with Autism or actually addressed the underlying cost issues, we as a family have been forced to make painful cutbacks; picking and choosing which therapies to apply for our autistic son, delaying my wife’s back surgery and ultimately forcing us to go from two cars to one to save on costs.
Even so we put most costs onto a Credit Card and payoff what we can when we can. For us ObamaCare solved nothing and if anything my employer will likely force us onto an Exchange because they are self-funded and our care costs so much.”
How the Poor are Provided For Through Obamacare:
Sandra Duck is a Medicaid patient with an infected, artificial hip. Dr. Dale Mitchum treated her infection in 2009, but when it resurfaced in early 2012, Mitchum knew Duck was in need of another hip transplant.
Here is how Obamacare provided for Sandra Duck’s medical condition:
“(Mitchum) tried to find an orthopedic surgeon who would operate. More than a year later, he’s still trying.
“I cannot find a living soul that will touch her,” he said recently. “And I’ve tried everywhere, from Tallahassee to Pensacola.”
Doctors in several states outside Florida also have refused to operate on Duck, who’s covered by Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for poor people and those with disabilities. Because of the program’s history of low payments, fewer than half of U.S. doctors and other health care professionals accept Medicaid patients, according to a recent study.
Nationwide, the lack of doctors is a growing problem that will only worsen as some 27 million people get health coverage by 2016 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortage of 29,800 primary care doctors and 33,000 specialty doctors in 2015 alone.”
These stories are not the hypothetical scenarios made up by Republican leaders. Pattie, Frank and Sandra have no intention of denying 30 million people healthcare. Their stories are a dose of reality for big-government advocates and Obamacare supporters. The sick, the disabled and the poor are not going to benefit under Obamacare. And, most likely, neither will anyone.